Please find below our updated Acceptable Use Policy.
It has been a huge couple of years for AKFF, and since the last policy was written in 2006, membership has exploded, and so has kayak fishing. Rather than make patchwork changes to the old Conditions of Use, we decided it better to re-write them in plain, easy to understand language for the benefit of all members.
I would like to point out that we have absolutely no problem with the behavior of the vast, vast majority of our membership. You are the people that make AKFF what it is, and we thank you. However sites of these size do not come without some troublemakers, which is why documents such as this become necessary.
These Conditions of Use are geared around making AKFF an independent resource for the kayak fishing community, and a place where we respect others and behave reasonably, but don't have to leave our personalities at the door.
Please read and review the new Conditions of Use. If you have any questions or comments, please contact any of the Moderators via the PM system. Please note that it is your responsibility to regularly review this document, as there may be changes from time to time.
Thanks for your participation & for making AKFF what it is today!
The Admin & Moderator Team
[Edit - A minor amendment has been made at 20 February 2012 - further details available here: http://www.akff.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=28505]
AUSTRALIAN KAYAK FISHING FORUM
ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY
The Australian Kayak Fishing Forum is an online bulletin board, designed as a meeting place for those that enjoy kayak fishing.
AKFF is not a club, organisation, or company. AKFF is operated by volunteers, who provide their free time to help administer the forum and develop the resource for the kayak fishing community.
Please note that AKFF is merely a distributor of information, and does not purport to be, or aim to be a ‘publisher’. While AKFF does have a Moderation and Post Reporting structure in place, AKFF does not accept any responsibility for any material posted on this site.
AKFF is intended to be an independent resource for those interested in kayak fishing. We will endeavour to keep AKFF free of undeclared commercial interests, and as a place where both the beginner can learn about kayak fishing and ask questions, and the more experienced angler can share their knowledge.
AKFF is a not for profit site. Any revenues raised from advertising, or merchandise sales will fund site hosting fees, or will be put back into the site for the benefit of members. Any website advertising space is provided by AKFF on the understanding that AKFF does not endorse or recommend the products/services that the company is advertising. Members are urged to base all purchasing decisions on their own research.
While these Conditions of Use may seem wordy and long, we have put these in place to ensure all members have a good experience at AKFF. If you have any questions or concerns regarding these Conditions of Use, please contact a Moderator or Administrator via the PM system. If you are unsure if something you wish to post is in contravention of these Conditions of Use, please ask for clarification before posting. This will save any heartache and angst that could otherwise be caused by your material being deleted, and other action being taken against you.
We hope that you will find AKFF a valuable resource, plus an entertaining place to discuss kayak fishing and related topics with like minded individuals.
Levels of Membership:
For most users, there are three types of membership that will apply:
This applies to all members, and is valid for the first three months of your membership, AND your first 50 posts. Both criteria need to be satisfied before you become a full member of AKFF.
While you are a probationary member, you may have limited access to certain areas of the forum.
Once you have achieved full membership, you will have full access to the forum, aside from Administration and Moderator areas.
While we do try and maintain AKFF as an independent resource, it is a commercial world, and as such, we have allowed Commercial members to access the board as well. Commercial members with more than 50 posts and 3 months membership are permitted to advertise their goods and services on AKFF in our commercial area, provided that their commercial affiliations are always disclosed to members (usually via the appropriate text in their signature line), and that they participate in other non-commercial areas of AKFF.
Commercial Affiliations and Sponsorships:
We recognise that many of our members may work in the fishing, kayaking, boating and related industries, but may not actually be commercial members as such. Additionally, we recognise that some members may have commercial or sponsorship type affiliations with some companies.
In the interests of always providing a independent and honest point of view to the membership, it is expected that anyone with any commercial affiliation with any related company disclose this information to the membership clearly and consistently. This is discussed later in this document, and in our separate COMMERCIAL MEMBER ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY.
Do's and Don'ts
Be honest in your dealings with us.
# Please ensure that all information that you provide to us for your membership is correct.
# Please only maintain one membership of AKFF. Multiple memberships are not permitted. AKFF is not a parallel universe or Second Life type environment. If you wouldn't do it in real life, don't do it here.
Act like a reasonable human being:
# Please don't use your membership to Spam, harass, or exploit other members in any way.
# Please don't use Vulgar, Abusive, Racist, or Sexist Language. This applies to what type, and also any images you may post or link to – including avatars. Our test is that if a reasonable person may be offended by any material, then we consider it to be offensive and it is not welcome.
# Please don't mass post or flood the boards.
# Please make a genuine and reasonable effort to ensure correct spelling and grammar in all of your posts. While the occasional typo or error is understandable, posts in SMS/TXT speak are not welcomed, and continued poor grammar, punctuation and spelling are annoying for other users to read and interpret. There are a number of free on-line tools and spellcheckers that make this requirement quite easy to meet.
# Please don't go overboard with signature lines. While at present there are no hard and fast rules, please don't use signature lines to link to sponsor or product websites, and please don't include tall images that take up a lot of vertical space on the screen. If your signature line is outside what we consider to be reasonable, you may be directed to modify it to suit.
# Please make a genuine effort at contributing to the core areas of the forum. Kayaks and kayak fishing are our core reason for existence – hence the name, and as such, it is expected that a members posts will consist of a minimum of 75% of posts being dedicated to these areas. Disproportionate use of other areas of the forum, such as “Off Topic” is not welcomed.
# AKFF is not a place where you are judged by the number of posts you have made. A user shouldn't feel it necessary to 'run up' their post count – either to obtain credibility amongst members, or to qualify for full membership, or for other reasons. We'd rather see how good you are with a fishing rod than a keyboard.
# Please don't start inflammatory and 'trolling' type posts. While we encourage and foster genuine and serious debate about kayak and fishing related topics, topics posted to deliberately provoke response from other members are not welcome.
# Please do not use shortcut links to your stories or reports which may appear on other websites or forums.
# You are responsible for what you write. Just because this is an internet forum does not absolve any member of their legal responsibilities regarding defamatory or libellous material. All posts, IP addresses, times and dates are logged and archived, and will be made available to law enforcement and legal sources as required.
# If there is a post or material posted that you feel is defamatory to your person, please contact an AKFF Administrator or Moderator via the PM system. Please include in your message your full name and address, precise details of the material that you believe to be defamatory, and why you believe it to be defamatory. Please note that AKFF takes all threats of legal action seriously, and should a member make threats of legal action against AKFF, that this will result in the immediate banning of their AKFF account and privileges.
# By joining AKFF as a member, and by participating in threads and discussions on the AKFF site – including AKFF Chat and the AKFF Wiki – you are agreeing to abide by the AKFF Acceptable Use Policy, and you agree to be legally responsible for material you post and link to. If you do not agree with these conditions, or do not agree with the AKFF Acceptable Use Policy, please do not visit or use the AKFF website or affiliated sites.
# These message boards are a place where it's okay to be yourself. On the proviso that you always act with respect for your fellow users of these boards and chat rooms, we promise that when on the Australian Kayak Fishing Forum you won't have to leave your personality at the other end of the computer.
# It is intended that AKFF be a constantly evolving resource that will cater to the needs of it's members, and the kayak fishing community. For us to do this, we need your feedback and suggestions.
# Please don't be afraid to contact us with your suggestions, ideas or questions. You shouldn't be afraid to discuss your ideas for the site with other members, either via discussion threads or polls. We will listen to your suggestions, complaints, and surveys and try to incorporate your ideas in everything we do on this web site.
# While changes may not happen overnight, we aim to stay ahead of the curve, and ensure that AKFF is the most relevant kayak fishing resource in Australia.
# If you're new to our Message Boards or Live Chat Rooms, taking the first step to post publicly can sometimes seem intimidating.
# Don't be afraid to jump into a discussion, or post a fishing report or request for information. We were all new users at one stage. Fellow users of these boards are very supportive they can offer encouragement and enthusiasm. They all look forward to meeting new people and making new friends.
# AKFF run a number of regular, and one-off competitions. These competitions are about fun and participation. We encourage all of our members to participate in these competitions. However in the interests of fairly distributing prizes, you may be ineligible to win prizes in some competitions depending on your previous winnings. This will generally apply if you have won a monthly competition previously, or if you have won a major prize in a one-off competition. Ineligibility will be made clear in the entry terms and conditions of each competition.
# Member Blogs and Websites:AKFF recognises that members may have their own blogs or websites where they publish trip reports and other kayak fishing related content. We think this is great, as it showcases kayak fishing to the world in a variety of format and content.
We understand that what you may wish to publish on other sites may not be suitable for publishing here - ie video rich content, photo rich content etc etc.
However we do not wish for AKFF to be used as a vehicle to only promote your own website - we refer to this as 'blind linking'. Effectively we do not want to see the types of posts along the lines of "I went fishing - check out my website at http://www.xyz.com for the trip report".
Up until now, this has not been a issue as there have been relatively few members with their own sites, and gentlemen's agreements have been in place. But with more members developing and maintaining their own sites, we have now developed a formal position on the issue.
We are not averse to links to your own website being included in the post, subject to the following conditions:
# There should be a full trip report published on AKFF. This does not need to be a verbatim copy of what is published elsewhere, but it should at least be an 'abstract', 'executive summary' or 'precis' of the article. Basically a member should be able to read it, and get the full gist of the story, without having to go to another site to get important or key details.
# As a rough guide to length, anything shorter than a couple of decent paragraphs would be considered too short to be a decent trip report.
# Please note, this condition only applies to members own sites. Linking out to other forums is not considered acceptable.
# We are relying on member's goodwill and common sense to make this work. Please don't abuse it and force us to make more draconian guidelines.
Declare any Commercial Affiliations:
# Posts from members who are involved in the commercial aspect of kayak fishing are more than welcome. We value the knowledge and experience of our members with commercial ties, and their input and advice on forum topics can be of great benefit to all users of the site. We encourage commercial members to answer questions about their own products/services in general terms, and participate in discussions about these products/services. We request, however, that quotations and details of associated sale offers, be restricted to the 'Commercial' section of the forum, in order to distinguish normal member activity from a commercial enterprise.
# If you are a Commercial member, we would like you to be a productive and useful member of AKFF in your own right. This can be done by contributing regularly and reasonably to kayak and fishing related topics on the forum. If your site traffic consists mainly of advertising or other commercial-related posts, AKFF is not going to be the site for you.
# It is our intention for AKFF to be a valuable community and meeting place for all kayak fishing aficionados. AKFF is not designed to be an advertising portal for commercial members, nor is it designed to be a trading post. It is a reasonable expectation that our commercial members will reward other AKFF members for their participation in the community, and not simply parrot their prices or specials that are offered elsewhere.
# To assist members to identify users with a commercial connection, those with commercial ties are required to identify such affiliations in each of these locations:
# As part of your signature (eg: 'Hobie Dealer, YaksRUs Pty Ltd').
# As part of your location (eg: 'Sunshine Coast, BlueYaks Sales Team')
# This will not only help other members evaluate posts in the context of commercial affiliations, but will also provide a level of protection against any accusations of covert product bias.
# Please note that while we welcome all members to AKFF, subject to our Conditions of Use, there may be occasions where an member's behaviour may require action to be taken. Action may be taken by either a Moderator, Administrator, or Site Owner. This action may include a warning being issued, your membership to AKFF being revoked for a period of time, or your AKFF membership being revoked permanently.
# Disclosure of reasons behind a warning or ban being issued will be completely at the discretion of the Moderator, Administrator, or Site Owner. The decision of the Moderator, Administrator, or Site Owner will be final in these circumstances, and no correspondence will be entered into.
# Please note that should a warning or ban be issued, this applies to the person rather than the membership. Attempts to circumvent this by creating a duplicate or alternate membership will result in an immediate permanent ban to the person and all associated accounts.
# Please note that any private information collected by AKFF about you will not be shared with any third party, without your consent, unless legally required to do so. The sorts of parties that this information may be shared with include competition partners, where for example you have won a prize which needs to be sent to you, or legal or law enforcement agencies.
Please note that your participation on AKFF is not anonymous. Your IP address is logged at all times during your participation on the site, and this information is archived, and will be made available to legal and law enforcement agencies on request.
# As part of our efforts to fund our site and hosting fees, and provide a professional and useful resource for all members, we do use Google targeted advertising on the site. You will note that the Google ads you see will be targeted to you by two methods – firstly the content of the AKFF page you are viewing, and secondly by the search and viewing history of you personally. This is information that Google as a third party collects, and while AKFF publishes the resultant advertisments to you, these are not due to information passed on to Google from AKFF.
# Please note that there is not implied, inherent or guaranteed privacy in respect to the Private Message (PM) system. Any PM messages sent to other members may be forwarded to any other member without your consent or knowledge, or quoted in a post on the board. As a general rule, you should not put anything in a private message that you wouldn't be comfortable being sent to your worst enemy's solicitor.
# Please note that all posts placed by you on AKFF are considered to be in the public domain. These are viewable by anyone – not just members of AKFF, and will not be deleted, unless they are considered to be in breach of these Conditions of Use. AKFF material will also be collected and referenced by various internet search applications, and the results made available through third party search engines. This is completely out of the control of AKFF.
Thank you for taking the time to read and understand our Acceptable Use Policy. If you are unclear as to any area of this policy, please contact either a Moderator or Administrator.
The Acceptable Use Policy may change or be updated at any time, and it is in members' best interests to regularly view the document for updates and changes.